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Ovarian Cysts Definition & Overview

Definition

The ovaries make eggs and female hormones. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary. During the menstrual cycle, it is normal for the ovaries to make cysts. The largest of these normal cysts is usually less than an inch (2.5 cm). If you're taking birth control pills, then you usually do not form cysts larger than this size. Most cysts are small and benign. (Benign means that they are not cancerous). But, the larger ones can cause pain and other problems. When there is sudden and severe pain due to a cyst, it may because of:

  • Bleeding—blood irritates the surrounding tissue and causes pain
  • Torsion—the cyst twist around, disrupting blood flow to the ovary

One or many ovarian cysts can form.

Close Up of Ovary and Fallopian Tube

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© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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